From the start, it’s been clear Lillard is both upping the pressure on the Trail Blazers and giving them a chance to build a contender, which is why most executives do not think a Lillard trade happens this offseason, reports Kevin O’Conner at the Ringer. The long-term security in Lillard’s contract could lead to more interest from teams and more return in a trade. If forced to trade Lillard, Portland is not a market looking to tear it down to the studs and rebuild ala “The process;” adding Simmons keeps the team competitive while it finds a new direction.
“I don’t disagree that maybe Chauncey can change our team and make us a better team,” Lillard said from Las Vegas with Team USA. “But I think if you look at our team as it is, I don’t see how you say ‘this is a championship team, we just need a new coach.’
“We need to be more urgent we have made the playoffs all these years, we’re a good team, we’re not a bad team, but it’s reached the point where we have to ask ‘have we done enough?'”